Sons of Tubal-Cain is a comprehensive history of the evolution of Artificers in the Royal Navy from the introduction of the Engine Room Artificer in 1868 right through to the last class of Artificers, to Pass Out from HMS Sultan in 2010. Told with anecdotes, memories and all sorts of stories from Artificers themselves in both war and peace, the book is narrated with humour and affection on the author’s part, as he was himself as an Artificer.
This history follows the introduction of the different trades that the Royal Navy required as the technology became more sophisticated, with the introduction of the Electrical Artificer in 1901, the need for Ordnance Artificers and, strangely, the introduction of the Shipwright Artificer as the last trade to join in 1947. It includes the evolution of the Boy Artificer, Jackie Fisher’s ‘Second to None’ in 1903 through all the establishments associated with Artificers and the differing training regimes that changed over the years as the technical requirements of the ships in the fleet altered.
There are many contributions from retired Artificers, serving Artificers and also from relatives of Artificers, going back as far as 1871, with many memories that show how engineering in the Royal Navy changed and what it required of its highly trained personnel during the past 150 years. The foreword has been supplied by the Chief Naval Engineer Officer, Reader Admiral Rick Thompson CBE.